US Government Expands Opportunities Under H-2B Visa Program


Major industries in the United States, such as tourism, hospitality, food processing, and landscaping, rely on seasonal workers to meet fluctuating labor needs throughout the year . Many companies in these sectors choose to hire foreign workers to fill these temporary and seasonal positions.

In 2023, the Biden administration extended the H-2B visa program (for temporary non-agricultural workers) to support the growing demand for seasonal workers and maintain U.S. economic growth. Here’s a closer look at some of the H-2B program updates from last year:

Expanded work opportunities

As part of a collaborative effort between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL), the H-2B visa program was expanded in 2023:

  • An additional 65,000 H-2B visas were made available for temporary non-agricultural workers.
  • 20,000 visas were allocated specifically to workers from Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
  • Overall, the U.S. government has expanded legal avenues for temporary work to slow illegal migration to the United States.

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Labor protections

To strengthen the H-2B visa program and support foreign-born and domestic workers, DHS and DOL also rolled out new labor protection measures in 2023, including:

  • The creation of a new Worker Protection Task Force, designed to protect the rights of H-2B workers and identify potential program fraud, including the use of H-2B visas to avoid hiring workers Americans;
  • Accelerated deferred action process for any foreign worker who is a victim of (or witness to) labor rights violations.

You can learn more about the H-2B visa program at The limitless guide.

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